India's Tata Steel completes Europe pipe division sale
India's Tata Steel announced Wednesday that it had completed the sale of its European piping business to British-based investment firm Greybull Capital as it sells off its loss-making UK assets.
Tata, which is currently struggling to find a buyer for its major steelworks in South Wales, announced that a deal which had been agreed in principle in April for its "long products" had now been finalised.
The deal sees Greybull acquire Tata's steelworks in the northern town of Scunthorpe, as well as two mills in north-east England and other assets where steel pipes and tubes are made.
More than than 4,000 workers are employed but there was no immediate word on whether all the jobs would be saved.
"Tata Steel UK today announced the completion of the sale of its Long Products Europe business to Greybull Capital LLP," the Indian company announced in a statement issued overnight.
The deal, which was widely reported to be for a nominal fee of one British pound ($1.4), is unrelated to Tata's search for a buyer for its steelworks in Port Talbot, Wales.
Tata Steel said in March it was selling its struggling British assets due to a global oversupply of steel, cheap imports into Europe from countries including China, high costs and currency volatility, putting 15,000 jobs at risk.
The move heaped pressure on British Prime Minister David Cameron's government, which has been racing to find a buyer to safeguard the iconic British steel industry, which dates back to the 19th century.
A deadline for interested parties to submit bids passed last week but Tata has so far remained tightlipped about the number of offers it has received.
© 2016 AFP